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You hear relationship experts saying that you should be dating your partner and the reality is that for many couples this is unrealistic. Between kids, extracurricular activities and careers, it’s just not possible. In addition to the fact that you don’t have a consistent sitter, or you are new to the NOLA area and don’t have family here. If your family is here, they may be elderly, sick or unavailable.

Whatever the reason is, it’s not uncommon for couples to have a hard time finding the time for 3-hour dates on Saturday nights.

There is another option: Micro Dates

What are they?

Micro dates are small moments throughout the day where we make the most of our time in between one event and the other. According to Anya Meyerowitz, “A micro date refers to the technique of creating smaller pockets of times for a date”. There is this idea that we have to go on a staycation to connect and this is just not the truth. Sure, it’s wonderful to occasionally go on a staycation to break away from the mundane and enjoy experiences together but when this isn’t possible, there are shorter moments that we can be intentional about and make the most of.

This means we need to make the most of all of the tiny moments throughout the day when we have opportunity to connect with our partners. Louis Rumball states “Instead of waking up, rolling over and picking your phones up, grab your loved ones a fresh cup of coffee and sit together in bed discussing what each of you have going on for the day”.

“A micro date can happen anywhere and anytime in as little as 5 seconds. It’s the same concept as smelling the roses, but in this case, it is noticing your partner.”

Let’s talk about 3 fundamental ways to connect

According to couple’s therapist and researcher John Gottman, some of the best ways to connect with your partner is to build love maps, share fondness and to turn towards one another.

Building love maps

Love maps help you to know each other better. It’s knowing the little things about your partners life. Emotionally connected couples are familiar with each other’s inner worlds. So how do we build love maps? We ask questions, especially open-ended questions. What are your dreams? What makes you feel joy? Remember to update your love maps regularly because our desires and dreams evolve and change. During a ten-minute micro date, ask your partner:

Hey, I’m curious, what was your favorite vacation?

What is something you would love to do this summer?

What was the best book that you read or tell me about the book you read last week?

Sharing fondness

Limerence is the early stage of a romantic relationship. Limerence is when we have a crush on someone, it is marked by a feeling of hope, Limerence is a phase. When it ends, we have to remember to continue sharing fondness and admiration with our partners.

I noticed that you cleaned the kitchen, thank you

I am proud of you for doing that interview today. You did awesome.

I saw you with our daughter this morning, you were so sweet to her. you’re such a good dad.

Turning towards one another

Turning towards is a phenomenon coined by Dr. John Gottman through his research with couples. Turning towards is something that happens when one partner makes a bid (an attempt to connect with their partner) and their partner accepts the bid. A bid for connection can be anywhere from a hug to let me share something about my day with you.

Here are some micro dates that you can try:

  • Align your lunch breaks and meet up
  • Schedule a video call in the middle of the day
  • Drop your partner off an afternoon coffee or their favorite sandwich
  • Take a walk together in the evening
  • Hold hands
  • Bring up a good memory

  • Spend ten minutes talking about a joint dream that you have for a vacation next summer
  • Sit on your porch without the kids and watch the sunset together (plan it ahead of time)
  • Ask your parnter what their favorite NOLA reataurant is
  • Have coffee together and express something sweet that your partner did this week
  • Sit together and listen to a song that you both love
  • Sit and look at fond pictures together
  • Sit together and share a funny meme
  • Laugh together

The Takeaway:

Any of us can fit in a micro date. It gives us an opportunity to connect in small ways daily and to express affection towards our partners. When we have a strong friendship, it protects our relationship, and it helps us to navigate conflict differently.

Modern Therapy and Wellness is a boutique therapy practice in New Orleans, Louisiana. We believe in relationships, and we help people to heal them. We have therapists who specialize in grief, addiction, chronic illness and working with the LGBTQ community. All of our therapists help people to heal their relationships with themselves and others. We use the Gottman method. Come see us in person in New Orleans or meet with us on your couch anywhere in Louisiana. Email us : Info@moderntherapyandwellness.com or call us at 504-452-1483. We offer a free phone consultation. You can also book with us directly on our website.

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